Cornelia Perquin of Precious Flora.

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1. How did you get your start?

My work as an appraiser in the jewellery trade brought me from Holland to Belgium, specifically to Antwerp, the capital of diamonds, and I’ve been travelling to London on a regular basis for the past 15 years.

Having started as a dream, rooted in my youth spent between the Dutch tulip fields, it was in London that the ‘Precious Flora’ project became reality. The distinct English taste and sense for tradition and heritage, the magnificent gardens and flower shows and a strong market for genuine antiques convinced me that there is fertile soil for jewellery of this nature.

2. Are you a member of any trade associations?

Yes, Federatie TMV, a Dutch association of certified appraisers, brokers and auctioneers of moveable assets. It is inspiring and important to discuss professional and ethical matters with colleagues. I’d also like to join LAPADA in the future – it is a trade association that sets high standards for itself and its members.

3. How has the market changed since you’ve been dealing?

To become actual buyers, people have to be drawn in by more than a jewel’s age or material value. Just being antique is no longer enough of an attraction. To persuade, the piece needs to offer something more – the reassurance of a well-known brand, for example. A captivating story or symbolic or historical value can serve the purpose as well.

4. What was your favourite subject in school?

Biology, of course.

5. Real ale or espresso martini?

An espresso martini because I’ve never tried it before.

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